Book Watching: Yeah, these aren’t happening.

Book Watching

Are these shows even happening?

We’re being skeptical canaries about the chances of these being made anytime soon.

The Fifth Season TV Show

fifthseasonI first heard murmurs in 2017 that N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season was being adapted for TV by TNT, shortly after I finished the book (five stars, all the way). And then things went quiet. Real quiet.

As networks start looking around for the next “Game of Thrones” epic fantasy success, this could be a contender. Then again, part of the power of this novel was its three interlinked but non-chronological timelines, making this a harder post-GOT sell than the more linear Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings.

Likelihood of being made? Until I hear different, I’m downgrading this adaptation to “Unlikely.”

The Dark Tower TV Show

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If you had asked me last month, I’d have given this show a negative 5% chance of being made. Between the source material—a first book that reads like someone telling you about their half-forgotten, meandering dream—and the fact that even Idris Elba couldn’t save the 2017 movie adaptation from it’s 16% Rotten Tomatoes rating, I was a skeptical canary.  But, apparently, an origin story reboot is in the works, thanks to a push for content by Amazon.

Showrunner Glen Mazzar (The Walking Dead) is on board, along with actors Sam Strike (Nightflyers) and Jasper Pääkkönen (BlacKkKlansman) who will play Roland and The Man in Black respectively.

Likelihood of being made? Yep, it’s being made.

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Book Watching: Do we need another Lord of the Rings? (Also: Game of Thrones & Narnia?)

Book Watching

This week, I got movie adaptation of fantasy classics on my mind. Here’s the latest on The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and The Chronicles Narnia

 

Lord of the Rings (Prequel)

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Welp, canaries. We’d pretty much come to terms that we wouldn’t be getting any more Tolkien adaptations from Warner. What with the Tolkien estate all but saying that they’d rather set their entire archive on fire before letting Warner Bros get their mitts on any more properties. (No, they didn’t actually say that, but they probably thought it.) Then, just last month, they went and disavowed Disney’s Tolkien biopic in no uncertain terms.

So the ball has been bounced over the Amazon who came in stage right and dropped $250 million to get the rights make a Lord of the Rings prequel series (like, thousands of years before The Hobbit) with an option for spinoffs. It’s early days, but with Amazon pouring in a gazillion dollars and filming scheduled for August, I’m gonna call it a done deal. We’re getting a prequel.

Though, to be honest, canaries, I just can’t seem to work up an appetite. After the exhausting slog that was the Battle of the Five Armies, do we really need more Lord of the Rings? And with the time jump going way back thousands of years to the second age, does it even matter than it’s Tolkien’s universe?

Writers J.D. Payne and and Patrick McKay (whose only IMDB credit so far is Star Trek Beyond)  are attached to the show so far. So there’s that.

Release Date: Meh. 2020?

Game of Thrones (Prequel)

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Remember when Breaking Bad was the show to watch? Then it ended and got a critically acclaimed prequel spinoff that no one really talks about at the office cooler? And then there’s the’s Fear the Walking Dead that, dispite mixed reviews is still going strong towards a fifth season.

So yeah, there’s clearly a market for spinoffs.

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This month in the mine shaft: May

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  • Nightmare Ink by Marcella Burnard ★★☆☆☆
  • Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks ★★☆☆☆
  • The Invisible Library Series ★★★★★
    • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
    • The Mortal Word by Genevieve Cogman
  • Working Stiff by Rachel Caine ★★★★☆
  • Legion Series ★★★★★
    • Legion by Brandon Sanderson
    • Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson
    • Lies of the Beholder by Brandon Sanderson
  • Innkeeper Chronicles ★★★☆☆
    • Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews
    • Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
    • One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
  • Alex Craft Series ★★★☆☆
    • Grave Witch by Kalayna Price
    • Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
    • Grave Memory by Kalayna Price

 

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(But what’s this, two novels with the same title? Stay tuned for a battle of the Night Lives and their goth protagonists.)

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Book Watching

Onward to June! What’s on your to-read list?

 

 

Book Watching: This Golden Compass trailer is everything

Book Watching

Oh my. Canaries, this trailer is everything I could have asked for from a Golden Compass/His Dark Materials TV show adaptation.

His Dark Materials

Last month, we were twittering our excitement about this show’s star lineup (Logan‘s Dafne Keen as Lyra? Yes please.), and this month we got a treat. The trailer for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials adaptation is out!

We’re so ready for this show.

Don’t fail us now, HBO.

Release Date: Sometime “later this year.” And we can’t wait.

How excited are you about this adaptation?

 

Book Watching: Two Pratchett shows and another try at Dune.

Book Watching

This week, I got movies on my mind. Good Omens, The Watch, and a possible Dune adaptation (yes please).

Good Omens

Based on the humorous romp through the end of times in Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. This six episode series is coming to BBC and Amazon Prime at the end of the month, and I am looking forward to checking the reviews and then maybe diving in. Full disclosure, I have a I-love-it-but-I-hate-it relationship with the book.

But there’s definitely a list of votes in this show’s favor. For one, I’m delighted to see David Tennant playing the demon Crowley and Benedict Cumberbatch coming on as Satan. Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock) is directing, with Neil Gaiman as the writer (woohoo!).

See you all on the other side.

Release Date: First episode airs next week, May 31, 2019

The Watch

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Speaking of Terry Pratchett…BBC America is looking to do an adaptation of another one of Pratchett’s books, this one from the Diskworld series.

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[Pitch Slapped] A blurb shouldn’t need a glossary

Today’s blurb is brought to you by sci-fi fantasy sequel The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels by indie author Dhesan Neil Pillay.

Here’s the blurb that landed on our sacrificial altar:

“Following the battle between Thaedis and Rezaaran, The Anmorian Legends: Legacy of the Sentinels sees the young War Mage embark on a journey of redemption. However, in the wake of Thaedis’s victory on Zynoo, the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems (IRIS) has lost a considerable margin against the tyrant’s Obsidian Dominion. The hope of freedom seems ever more distant.

Despite the odds, Rezaaran remains steadfastly determined and endeavours to unite a group of fabled warriors. But will this be enough to save Anmor from the coming darkness and defeat the nefarious villain who has bested him once before?”

The first, feathery impressions:

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You can probably tell that I was thoroughly confused.  Are Thaedis and Rezaaran names of countries or different factions? Is Zynoo a place? What’s the connection between the young war mage, Thaedis, Rezaaran, Zynoo, Anmor, Obsidian Dominion, and the Intergalactic Revolution of Independent Systems? what is a “journey of redemption” and why? How is finding fabled warriors a redemption plot?

I went back and read the blurb for book one to see if that might help me figure things out. Continue reading

[Book Review] Why Consider Phlebas did nothing for me.

Book Review: Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

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So. After everything I’d heard about the AI-driven utopian world of “The Culture” in Iain M. Banks books…I was expecting a bit more, well, utopia in my Science Fiction read.

Instead, Consider Phlebas delivered a gritty military science fiction: A disconnected protagonist, rotating cast of loosely sketched out supporting characters, relationships based on alienation, violent conflict, lots of slow-build tension and suspense, and a loosely connected series of action sequences. Oh and a bunch of exposition on democracy vs theocracy (life vs AI, systems vs chaos, the meaning of being alive, etc etc) that I grimly power-read my way through.

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